Fouta: Lost in Translation

A fouta by Balthazar and Rose

A fouta by Balthazar and Rose

Before moving here, I bought some beautiful foutas from a neighbor in Los Angeles. Foutas are Tunisian sarongs that have evolved to to become fashionable beach towels/scarves/throws. They’re often striped with fringes on the ends. I bought a few of them colored with shades of blues and white stripes.

I would often take a fouta with me to use at the pool. I happened to be at the pool one day when it was quite busy with lots of religious women.

Tallit. c/o Google images

Tallit. c/o Google images

While drying myself off in the locker room with my fouta towel, I noticed a few people staring at me.After a few minutes, I realized that my fouta looks A LOT like a tallit (prayer shawl). I assume they were horrified at what I appeared to be doing. My pool towel is now just ordinary, plain, bulky and a single-color.


5 thoughts on “Fouta: Lost in Translation

  1. Being a Jewish American and not seeing too many men wearing talits I never would have thought that the fouta would look similar. Interesting article, thanks.


  2. This is hysterical. Something one wouldn’t realize until that moment of despair when there’s nothing you can say or do to make the situation better. In their mind you used a holy prayer shawl as a towel, forever embedded in their psyche. Good reminder that not everything is what we think it is, some things are lost in translation, even visual translation. (Reminds me of something that would happen to Larry David)


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